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Volkswagen T-Cross rides the rise of crossovers

Volkswagen T-Cross rides the rise of crossovers

Crossovers have become popular in the country, thanks to their fuel efficiency, versatility, and generous cargo space. For motorists that could use a bit more room than a sedan or a hatchback, a crossover is an awesome choice for a ride.

It is this wave of popularity that the Volkswagen T-Cross is making the most of. With each car manufacturer having their own crossover models in the market, the T-Cross is, in a way, the German car manufacturer’s attempt to stay more relevant with the younger generation of car enthusiasts and capture a bigger slice of the first-time car buyer market.

Launched in the Philippines in May 2021, the T-Cross is perhaps the Volkswagen car with the most “cool factor,” designed to grab the attention of motorists who prefer a much hipper model with trendier interior and exterior designs.

In a recent media drive to Tagaytay, these distinctive features were on display, with the most obvious one being the various colors that the T-Cross comes in, bearing quirky names such as Tribu Yellow, Syringa Violet, Romance Red, Chinchilla Gray, and Polar White.

Inside the T-Cross, the accents continue, with the SE variants having interior trims that match its exterior color, something that is rarely seen in local car models. It’s a simple, but very nice touch, a way to make the dashboard pop even more.

“The T-Cross caters to millennials, those who want to do and experience new things in life all the time. It’s hip and has all the amenities and technology that a young millennial will look for in a vehicle. The inside is very thoughtful. The T-cross is a vehicle that can actually match their lifestyle by allowing them to do more than one thing,” said Franz Decloedt, Volkswagen Philippines marketing director.

While there’s still a huge market for the sedans, Decloedt said he expects the “rise of the crossovers” trend to continue. This is true, especially in countries like the Philippines where many motorists prefer vehicles that have higher ground clearance because of more challenging roads, some of which often flood during the rainy season.

Motorists should also appreciate the car’s infotainment system, which features the Active Info Display, while the sizeable 9.2-inch infotainment monitor maximizes the Wireless Apple CarPlay connectivity.

“T-Cross is like the people’s car of SUVs from Volkswagen. It is priced quite affordably. If they’re looking for an affordable crossover that can conquer the Philippine roads, the T-Cross is the one for them,” Decloedt said.

Idyllic ride-and-drive

The idyllic ride-and-drive with the Volkswagen T-Cross started from the AC Motors Centrale in Bonifacio Global City in Taguig to Tagaytay City in Cavite.

Spread out over three days, the activity saw the motoring press try their hands at a pot-making session at the Kap’ean Coffee PH, and a sumptuous lunch at the Hillbarn Café & Restaurant. The chill drive was meant to highlight the “softer” side of the T-Cross. The focus wasn’t much on the car’s specs (which are impressive) but on the T-Cross’ tagline of being “More Than One Thing” to its users.

The 2022 T-Cross SE variant features the efficient 1.5-liter Multi-Point Injection (MPI) gasoline engine paired with a 6-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission. The group’s climb from the lowlands of Metro Manila to the 700-meter elevation of Tagaytay ridge was a breeze, thanks to the T-Cross’ 113 PS of maximum power and 145 Nm of maximum torque. The Cruise Control also made the long expressway drive extra-relaxed and comfortable, while the Sport Mode was always available to provide an extra power boost when desired.

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The T-Cross SE that the participants drove for the 150-km day tour was produced in one of the four facilities worldwide—Brazil, China, Germany, and India. This means that each T-Cross unit bears the same precision engineering and global standards of craftsmanship the Volkswagen brand has been known for.

With camera equipment, tripods, and other tools of the trade, the practical spaciousness of the T-Cross was a big plus. Its folded rear seat bench, and cavernous 329 liters of luggage compartment (which expands up to 1,319 liters) are more than enough to accommodate large items that weekenders may need for their drive.

Aside from the vehicle’s Electronic Stabilisation Program (ESP) which helps drivers stay in control of the vehicle even when roads got twisty, or when unforeseen obstructions on the road suddenly come up, other T-Cross safety features that are on the ready include the Hill Hold Control, Anti-Slip Regulation, Rear Parking Distance Control, and the rear camera (exclusive to the SE variant).

The T-Cross stays true to the German automaker’s unique build and design qualities, evident in every model’s fit and finish: Laser welding technology; forged steel door hinges; high-strength panels, and consistent door seals and panel gaps, all contributing to strong and durable body structure.

Should motorists feel the desire to drive to a destination with higher elevation, where it fogs, the T-Cross SE variant adds another layer of safety via visibility by being equipped with LED headlights, daytime running lights, and a front fog lamp with corner light function, apart from the standard rear foglamp. While the T-Cross remains in a niche segment of the market at the moment, it is still Volkswagen’s best-selling model in the Philippines—by a mile.

Decloedt said: “The T-Cross and the Volkswagen brand have been tried and tested. With this crossover, we want to inspire people to do more than just one thing with their life and not be stuck in one place. The T-Cross allows you to achieve just that.”